Summer Safety Tips

Family on vaction in ocean

Tips for a Safe, Fun & Stress-Free Summer

School’s out and longer days filled with sunshine are here, beckoning us to enjoy outdoor summer fun and relaxation! While longer summer days entice us to slow down and enjoy a more laidback lifestyle, it’s vitally important to remain vigilant regarding outdoor safety.

Whether your plans include staycation destinations or journeys to faraway places, your local Capital Women’s Care team offers these outdoor safety tips to help you and your family enjoy a safe, fun, and stress-free summer:

Heat Safety

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Adults should avoid outdoor drinks with caffeine or alcohol, especially during the hottest part of the day.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors as they absorb sun rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors. Avoid strenuous exercise and outdoor work during the hottest part of the day. Plan indoor downtime for young kids like crafts, puzzles or reading.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive outdoor heat. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially those without air conditioning, who are alone or who are more likely affected by summer heat.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.

Sun Safety

  • Protect your child from too much sun. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so be extra careful during that time.
  • Whenever anyone is outside, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2 hours and after being in the water or sweating. You should use about 2 Tablespoons of sunscreen for each application.
  • Keep children under age 1 year out of the sun as much as possible. Dress babies in lightweight, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants. Always use hats or head coverings.
  • Children under 6 months of age can have small amounts of sunscreen put on their faces and backs of hands; be careful not to get it in eyes or mouth.
  • Most of the sun’s burning rays pass through clouds, so use sunscreen always, even on cloudy days.
  • Select sunglasses providing 100% UV protection.
  • When it is 90° F or above and humid, children shouldn’t play outside or exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time.
  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids even if they aren’t thirsty. Water is best.
  • Take breaks to cool off in the shade.

Water Safety

  • Be water smart! Make it a priority for all (kids and adults) to have swim lessons and that everyone can swim well.
  • Actively supervise children by staying within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers.
  • Plastic or blow-up wading pools should always be drained and stored in an upright position after each use.
  • Enclose outdoor pools and spas with 4-sided, 4-ft. fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates that lock.
  • Wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings are no substitute for a life jacket and close adult supervision.
  • Everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.
  • Never leave a child unattended around water. Children are drawn to it, and very young children can drown in just an inch of water.
  • Empty all buckets, pails, and bathtubs completely after each use – do not leave them full and unattended.
  • Always have an adult watching over young swimmers.
  • Do not mix alcohol and supervision of children.
  • Be sure the adult watching your child knows how to swim, get emergency help and perform CPR.
  • swimming in open water is different from swimming in a pool. Be aware of situations unique to open water:  limited visibility, depth, uneven surfaces, currents, and undertow. Use designated swimming areas and recreational areas. Look for posted signs about open water hazards. Also look for signs indicating when lifeguards are present.

Grilling Safety

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill during use. Avoid adding charcoal starter fluid when coals are already ignited.
  • Never grill indoors or in any enclosed or covered area like tents, pergolas or campers.
  • Make sure everyone, including pets, maintains distance from grills.
  • Keep grills away from your house, deck, tree branches, or anything that could ignite.
  • Use long-handled tools especially made for grilling.

Fireworks Safety

If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, follow these safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Older children should only use fireworks under close adult supervision.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light them indoors.
  • Only use them away from people, houses, and flammable materials.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Only light 1 device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Never ignite devices within a container.
  • Don’t try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
  • Never use illegal fireworks.

Walking Safety

  • Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing streets.
  • Make eye contact with vehicle drivers.
  • Pay full attention while crossing streets by putting aside phones, headphones, earbuds, radios and devices.

Bike, Scooter & Skateboard Safety

  • Everyone should wear a properly fitted helmet that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
  • Wear gloves plus knee and elbow pads and close toed, slip-resistant shoes for added protection in case of falls.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals. Bike riders should follow and obey traffic flow signs.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that children younger than 5 years should not skateboard at all, and children ages 6-10 years should not skateboard without adult supervision.
  • Always check equipment before using, including tires and wheels, for possible defects.
  • Ride bicycles on the sidewalk when you can. If not, ride in the same direction as traffic and as far on the right-hand side as possible.
  • Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road. Be predictable by making sure you ride in a straight line and do not swerve between cars.
  • Wear bright colors and use lights, especially when riding at night and in the morning.
  • Reflectors on both clothes and bike help you to be more visible to vehicle drivers.
  • Bike ride with your children. Stick together until you are comfortable your kids are ready to safely ride on their own.

Travel Safety

  • Always strap children in a properly fitted car seat, booster seat or seat belt when traveling by car or airplane.
  • A vehicle’s back seat is the safest place for children.
  • Children in rear-facing car seats should never be placed in the front seat if it has an air bag.
  • Check the owner’s guide for your child’s car seat to make sure it is approved for airplane travel.
  • Reserve a car seat or booster seat, or bring your own, when renting a car, riding with friends and family, or using a car share service.
  • Lock all vehicle doors when driving.
  • Never leave children alone in a car, not even for a minute. Children left in cars are at risk for heat stroke, which can lead to death. Other risks are setting the car in motion and getting injured by playing with power controls.
  • Keep empty cars always locked.

Bite and Sting Safety

  • Teach your child to never surprise or scare a dog or cat and never approach a dog or cat they don’t know.
  • Check eaves and under decks for bee or wasp nests. Teach children not to touch or throw things at nests.
  • Avoid using insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months.
  • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
  • Use repellent that contains no more than 30% DEET to prevent insect-related diseases like West Nile and other viruses from mosquitoes.
  • To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail.
  • Use repellent on the outside of clothing and on exposed skin. Avoid using it on cuts.
  • Don’t spray repellent on your child’s face. Instead, spray a little in your hand and rub it onto their face, being careful to avoid their eyes and mouth.
  • Avoid dressing in brightly colored and floral print clothing, as both patterns attract bees and wasps.
  • Avoid using scented soaps, perfumes, and hair products.
  • Have kids avoid play in and around wood piles, favorite habitats for spiders and snakes.

Tick Safety

  • Avoid playing or hiking in woods or fields with long grass.
  • Have children wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Tuck clothing into pants and pant cuffs into socks.
  • At the end of the day, check your child’s whole body for ticks, including hair, scalp, and inside and behind their ears.

Boating Safety

  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (PFD). Choose a life jacket that is right for your child’s weight and water activity. For younger children, choose a PFD with both a collar for head support and strap between the legs.
  • Keep weak- and non-swimmers in PFDs while on docks and marinas.
  • Make sure life jackets are the right fit for your child. Watch this learn how to fit a life jacket video.
  • Teach children to swim in open water.
  • Enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows these 5 water survival skills:
    • Step or jump into water over their head and return to the surface.
    • Turn around in the water and orient to safety.
    • Float or tread water.
    • Combine breathing with forward movement in the water.
    • Exit the water.
  • Know and institute safe boating practices if enjoying watersports (waterskiing, wakeboarding, or tubing) with others on open waters.
  • Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills. It is important to know how to respond in an emergency without putting yourself at risk of drowning.
  • Leave a float plan detailing your itinerary, plans and timeline for return in case of emergency.
  • Learn about available boating safety resources. Follow U.S. Coast Guard recommendations for boating safety.
  • Learn about available boating resources, such as free vessel safety checks and boating safety courses.
  • Learn national boating laws and regulations. The U.S. Coast Guard has information about federal and state boating regulations.

Playground Safety

  • Parents can take the hurt out of playground activity by familiarizing themselves with safety risks and watching for potential hazards.
  • Watch children while they play at public and park playgrounds.
  • Keep children away from the front and back of swings during use.
  • Make sure metal slides are cool to avoid burns.
  • Check play equipment for exposed bolt heads, sharp edges, and places where fingers can get pinched. If you have any exposed areas on your family’s backyard equipment, cover them with rubber.
  • Place new play equipment over wood chips, sand, or another soft surface.
  • Avoid riding double on swings and slides.
  • Teach children to take turns and not push or roughhouse on play structures.

Lawn Care and Garden Safety

  • When you mow the lawn, keep children under age 5 years of age inside or away.
  • Never let children ride on mowers or in carts towed by mowers.
  • Use a push mower to mow grass on inclines or slanted grounds. Using a rider mower on inclines can cause the mower to tip and roll, potentially causing deep cuts or amputation of limbs from powered mower blades.
  • Don’t allow children under age 12 to use a push mower or those under age 16 to drive a riding mower.
  • Store mowers away from children. Toddlers can cut or burn themselves on mower parts.
  • Avoid using insect or weed killers on your lawn or garden. If you do, keep children out of the yard for at least 48 hours.
  • Store plant food, insecticides, fertilizers and other such items on shelves high enough so they are out of reach of young children.

Your local Capital Women’s Care team wishes you and your family a safe, healthy, and stress-free summer filled with lots of relaxation, enjoyment and happy memories.  Our team of health professionals are here to meet you and your family’s healthcare needs.

Our Mission

The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.

 

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